The spring semester 2021 will take place online until further notice. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers.

701-0785-00L  Environmental and Science Communication

SemesterAutumn Semester 2016
LecturersM. Schäfer
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentNumber of participants limited to 120.
60 ETH students and 60 UZH students. The time (date and exact time) of enrolment is decisive.
If there are less than 60 enrolments of one group either ETH or UZH students then the available spaces will be given to the other group.
ATTENTION: Enrolment of this course unit is only possible from August 31 until September 14, 2016.

Information for UZH students:
Enrolment to this course unit is only possible at ETH. No enrolment to module 251359 at UZH.
Please mind the ETH enrolment deadlines for UZH students: Link


AbstractThe course gives an introductionary overview in research questions, theoretical perspectives and empirical results of science communication and environmental communication. They will be illustrated by concrete examples and via lectures from external guests. .
ObjectiveGoals: Learning to understand structures and processes of environmental and science communication, becoming more sensitive for problems of science public relations, getting an insight into public debates about environmental issues.
Methods: invitation of media practitioners and experts, discussions, lectures on key theoretical concepts of communication.
Topics: Concrete communication instruments like media conferences, theoretical perspectives of public relations, basic principles and examples of information campaigns, environment and science as media topics, functions and structures of science communication, relations between science, media and politics.
ContentI. Introduction
- Topics: Environment, Science, Risks, Media
- Forms, Functions, Effects of Public and Mass Communication

II. Stakeholders and their Public Relations Efforts
- Public Relations and Science PR: Theoretical Perspectives, Instruments

III. Science and Environmental Issues in the Media
- Forms and Functions of Science Journalism
- Problems of Selection, Interpretation, Quality
- Media Content Analysis
- Online Communication

IV. Uses and Effects of Science and Environmental Communication
- Extent of Media Use
- Effects on Knowledge, Risk Perceptions, Environmental Attitudes
- Effects on Science itself
Lecture notesLiterature and powerpoint presentations will be provided on the OLAT platform.
LiteratureBoykoff, Maxwell T. (2011): Who Speaks for the Climate? Making Sense of Media Reporting on Climate Change. Cambridge, New York.

Brossard, Dominique / Scheufele, Dietram A. (2013): Science, New Media, and the Public. In: Science 339, H. 6115, S. 40-41.

Bubela, Tania / Nisbet, Matthew C. / Borchelt, Rick / Brunger, Fern / Critchley, Cristine / Einsiedel, Edna et al. (2009): Science Communication Reconsidered. In: Nature Biotechnology 27, H. 6, S. 514-518.

Göpfert, Winfried (2007): The Strength of PR and the Weakness of Science Journalism. In: Bauer, Martin / Bucchi, Massimiano (Hg.): Journalism, Science and Society. Science Communication Between News and Public Relations. New York, S. 215-226.

Gregory, Jane / Miller, Steve (1998): Science in Public. Communication, Culture, and Credibility. New York.

Hansen, Anders (2011): Communication, Media and Environment: Towards Reconnecting Research on the Production, Content and Social Implications of Environmental Communication. In: International Communication Gazette 73, H. 1-2, S. 7-25.

Renn, Ortwin (2008): Concepts of Risk: An Interdisciplinary Review. In: GAIA 17, H. 1 & 2, S. 50-66 / 196-204.

Rödder, Simone / Franzen, Martina / Weingart, Peter (Hg.): The Sciences' Media Connection - Public Communication and its Repercussions. Dordrecht, S. 59-85.

Schäfer, Mike S. (2011): Sources, Characteristics and Effects of Mass Media Communication on Science: A Review of the Literature, Current Trends and Areas for Future Research. In: Sociology Compass 5, H. 6, S. 399-412.

Sjöberg, Lennart (2000): Factors in Risk Perception. In: Risk Analysis 20, H. 1, S. 1-11.

Slovic, Paul (1987): Perception of Risk. In: Science 236, H. 4799, S. 280-285.
Prerequisites / NoticeDie Vorlesung wendet sich auch an Studierende der Publizistikwissenschaft der Universität Zürich

Voraussetzungen: Die Vorlesung hat einführenden Charakter.